ayor Edward Koch today sent telegrams asking all parties involved in negotiations to save the New York Daily News to continue their talks "beyond the deadlines that have been set."
Former Washington Star owner Joe L. Allbritton, who had set a deadline of midnight today for unions to agree to a list of concessions, replied that he was willing to meet again with the unions, but that the Tribune Co., which owns the Daily News, must extend its deadline to him beyond April 30.
Tribune Co. spokesman Charles Holcomb said no "formal response" would come before Monday, but he implied that the company would respond favorably to Allbritton's request: "If Allbritton sees it to his advantage, and if a few more days might enable the deal to come off, obviously we'd be willing to do it."
The talks have been suspended since last Thursday when Allbritton's negotiator, Edward Silver, walked out after the unions refused to agree to demands of a two-year wage freeze and a five-year no-strike contract.
Allied Printing Trades Council President George McDonald, who also received a telegram from Koch, agreed to meet again with Silver.
Silver, in a statement replying to the mayor, said: "Mr. Allbritton remains fully committed to purchase The Daily News under economic conditions that would permit its long-term survival."
If the Allbritton-union negotiations fail, it remains uncertain whether the Tribune Co. will agree to sell the paper to New York Post publisher Rupert Murdoch. While Murdoch said he was interested in acquiring the News, the Tribune Co. has refused to negotiate with him.